A businessman and hunter says semi-automatic weapons should not be banned in New Zealand but he agrees that the far more dangerous military-style weapons should be.

After Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern vowed to change gun laws as soon as possible in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack, the businessman said banning semi-automatic guns would hurt the farming community and sports people.

"I'm worried there could be a move to ban semi-automatic weapons when the real target should be military-style weapons," said the man, who agreed to talk to the Herald under the condition of anonymity.

He said he shoots up to 500 goats or wallabies in a half-day from a helicopter and up to 400 rabbits.


"A wallaby eats four times the amount of food of one sheep," said the hunter, whose name can not be published due to his position but who shoots in the South Island on a station where he says pests are endemic.

"I use a semi-automatic in the high country because there's just so many pests there and they move so fast. Semi-automatics reload and allow further shots fast.

"My concern is that semi-automatics and military-style weapons will be lumped together as one in a possible law reform. Semi-automatics could be blanket banned which would hurt the farming community and those who have a legitimate purpose for having these guns," said the hunter who has an e-category endorsement.

That means he is licensed to own military-style weapons but he sees no legitimate reason why any New Zealander should own such weapons.

His comments come as Trade Me faces scrutiny for continuing to sell semi-automatic weapons on its site.

In response to criticism, Trade Me said it would "consider" making interim changes to the sale of hundreds of weapons on its site.

This also comes as retailer Gun City prepares to address the media in a press conference today.

Earlier, Gun City also came under fire over "poor taste" billboards spotted in Christchurch and Wellington. The store advertisement shows a man teaching two children how to aim at a target, with the quote "Get the family outside".


Guns are big business in New Zealand, with an estimated 1.2 million guns registered across the country.